First Mazda Community Netball Grants winner announced

Ravens Netball Club is the first of six grassroots netball clubs to receive $1000 thanks to the Mazda Community Netball Grants program.

A proud partner of Netball SA and the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Mazda launched the Mazda Community Netball Grants initiative in 2018 to support and further grow engagement in netball across the state.

Ravens president, Amanda Kelly, said the club is very grateful for the grant money, which will be spent on purchasing new equipment, player sponsorship, and coaching and umpiring resources.

“The grant money will go a long way to supporting our club, which is very much in its infancy in the Whyalla Netball Association,” Amanda said.

“We’re the newest club in the Association, now heading into our fourth year; we are continuing to see growth particularly in our junior registrations, which is extremely positive. We now have about 130 players across the junior and senior grades.

“We had a successful 2017 with a number of our teams playing finals, resulting in a junior and senior premiership. However, we lost our major sponsor for 2018, which is a substantial loss to the club. Our funds will need to come from our fundraising attempts until a new sponsor can be found.

“Given it is our fourth year some of our equipment needs to be replaced, as well as the purchase of new coach’s bags and resources to meet the demands of increased team numbers. We will also support our umpires to undertake the level one course to enhance the knowledge and skills of our umpires.

“The Mazda Community Netball Grant will help immensely to cover these costs.”

Amanda said Ravens prides itself on accepting players who are new to netball and giving them an opportunity to play netball in Whyalla.

“We also sponsor two players each season by paying their fees and uniforms, otherwise they may not have the opportunity to play netball due to their family’s financial circumstances,” she said.

Bill Pattison, Mazda Australia State Manager for South Australia, said the initiative is an important element of Mazda’s Netball SA sponsorship.

“Netball has such a strong place in communities across the state; we hope the grants will support the game’s growth and ultimately help to engage more kids and young people with the sport,” he said.

With six grants available, a winning club will be announced each month from May through October. Grassroots netball clubs around South Australia were invited to apply for the Mazda Community Netball Grants earlier this year.

Mazda is a proud partner of Netball SA and the Adelaide Thunderbirds.